Exhibition: Pink Floyd - Their Mortal Remains
“Pink Floyd’s music teases the synapses and jars the emotions, suggests innocent questions and then raises nefarious answers, manipulates moods and challenges premises”.
Charting the band’s 40 year oeuvre, the V&A’s audiovisual love-letter to one of the most prolific bands in rock history does not disappoint. Teeming with precious artefacts that span the band’s career from its initial conception in 1965, to their seminal reunion at the 2005 Live 8 gig - Pink Floyd’s final live show - Their Mortal Remains is so rich and well-executed that it will capture the imagination of even the most fairweather Floyd fan.
Because of each album’s distinct sound and aesthetic, the exhibition takes you on a chronological journey through the band’s discography - with many of the rooms dedicated to a single album or career-landmark. The homage to The Dark Side Of The Moon - arguably the first concept album ever produced - is a real exhibition highlight. Here, you can take in a trippy 3D realisation of Storm Thorgerson’s iconic refracting prism artwork, while listening to Breathe - or remix your own version of the hit song Money. Real care is taken by the curators to deftly dive into the social context of the album, highlighting the issues that Pink Floyd were using Dark Side as a platform to tackle: mental health, drug abuse, social injustice and the chronic imbalance of wealth - all issues which still resonate deeply today.
The vanguard of sonic experimentation and psychedelic synth, Pink Floyd’s musicianship and creative vision are undeniable, and this best-in-class retrospective exhibition by the V&A serves them well. Between the visual effects, dramatic soundscapes and immersive concert footage, if you’re not a Pink Floyd fan before you go in, you’ll certainly be one once you leave.
Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains runs until Sunday 1st October at London’s V&A Museum